tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 28, 2012 2:30pm-2:59pm EDT
welcome back to our continuing coverage of hurricane sandy. president barack obama suspending his campaigning, now back to the primary duties of his job as the country's leader. just moments ago he was at fema headquarters in washington, d.c. talking about the hurricane. let's listen in. >> good afternoon, everybody. obviously all of us across the country are concerned about the potential impact of hurricane sandy. this is a serious and big storm. and my first message is to all people across the eastern seaboard, mid-atlantic going north, you need to take this very seriously. follow the instructions of your state and local officials because they are going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with this storm over the coming
days. we just had an excellent meeting with the fema team here, the various agencies that are in charge, including the department of defense, department of energy and others that are going to need to respond very quickly. under craig fugate's leadership here at fema, we've had a chance to talk to the region al officials as well, and i had talks with governors of various states as well as other leaders. everyone is confident that the staging process, the pre-positioning of equipment that will be needed to respond to the storm are in place. but as craig has emphasized, this hasn't hit landfall yet, so we don't yet know where it's going to hit, where we're going to see the biggest impacts, and that's exactly why it's so important for us to respond big and respond fast as local information starts coming in.
i want to thank all the members of the team for the outstanding work that they're doing, but the other thing that makes this storm unique is we anticipate it will be slow moving. that means that it may take a long time not only to clear but also to get, for example, the power companies back in to clear trees and put things back in place so that folks can start moving back home. so my main message to everybody involved is that we have to take this seriously. the federal government is working effectively with the state and local governments. it's going to be very important that populations in all the impacted states take this seriously, listen to your state and local elected officials. my message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there. and we're going to cut through red tape. we're not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules.
we want to make sure we're anticipating and leaning forward into making sure we got the best possible response to what is going to be a big and nasty system. craig, would you like to add something? >> again, as the president says, it's really going to come down to taking protective measures. if you haven't gotten ready, go to ready.gov. but also protect your neighbors. this is a big storm and we need to be there for each other. >> ready.gov for the general public, if you need to know how to respond, that's where you can get centralized information. i think craig's point is exactly right. in times like this, one of the things americans do is we pull together and we help out one another. so there may be elderly populations in your area. check on your neighbor, check on your friend, make sure they are prepared. if we do that, we'll get through the storm just fine, but we have to make sure that we are
vigilant and vigilant for a couple of days. don't anticipate that just because the immediate storm has passed that we're not going to have some potential problems in a lot of these communities going forward through the week. all right? thank you very much, everybody. >> again, president obama there at fema headquarters warning that this storm, hurricane sandy, is one that will be, quote, slow moving, and you also heard from fema's head, craig fugate there, who says the key to all of this is people heeding the evacuation orders they get from their various localities. so tens of millions of people along the east coast preparing for this monster of a storm that is expected to create extremely dangerous conditions from north carolina all the way up to new england. the outer bands of hurricane sandy already pounding the carolinas right now. the storm is about 250 miles southeast of cape hatteras, north carolina carrying 75.5-mile-an-hour winds. sandy is expected to move north and turn toward the east coast
tomorrow and collide way cold front producing a mega storm. that cold front could also mean several feet of snow that might be dumped in west virginia and ohio and the big threat from this storm that it may knock out power, if not for hours, possibly days, maybe even up to a week in some locations. and this storm could dump up to several inches of rain, and in the appalachian area, it could be as much as a foot of snow as well as the other areas that i mentioned that have that cold front kind of hovering. so we have reporters all over the region covering this major storm as it bears down on the eastern seaboard. we'll hear from all of them straight ahead. let's go to north carolina. our george howell is in kill devil hills where they've been feeling the effects of this storm for some time now, and it is a slow mover, apparently, as we've been seeing, as we heard from the president there.
you're still being pounded by a lot of wind and rain. >> reporter: fredricka, i want to talk about what we just heard from the officials and the president that this is going to be a big storm. the center of the storm hundreds of miles away from where we are now, but we're still within that wind field. on the edge of that wind field where we are here on the outer banks, we're feeling these wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour. think of what it's like closer to the center of that storm, and then think about that storm moving up and making that hook in the major metropolitan areas. what we're seeing here on the outer banks, what we're seeing around north carolina in these counties that have declared states of emergency, this is a taste of what's to come as this storm, again, a big storm, reaches into those metro areas and merge s with that cold fron. it will be a nasty situation. sandy living up to its name kicking around a lot of sand, and take a look at what's
happening back there. when you look at the ocean, choppy, rough waters. there was a beach out there. we lost that beach yesterday. fredricka, the beach is not there now. the storm surge here expected to get to 4 to 6 feet on this side of the outer banks, and on the south side, you can see flooding anywhere from 3 to 5 feet. >> all right, george howell. thanks so much. appreciate that from kill devil hills. let's move further north up to maryland already under a state of emergency ahead of sandy's arrival. let's go to ocean city, maryland. that's where we find our sandra endo there braving the heavy wind already. >> just like george said, fredricka, we've been feeling a steady wind, about 25 miles an hour here in ocean city. we just came off high tide. check out the waves here. a very rough surf. if anything, ocean city is not
experiencing their peak touring season right now, so that may be the only silver lining of this whole storm, but they're certainly bracing for the worst. the mayor here ordering a mandatory evacuation downtown ocean city as well as voluntary evacuation for low-lying areas. also, non-residents are also being forced away from ocean city right now as they're preparing for this storm, and we watched a lot of local residents board up their businesses, board up their homes because the threat of this storm is the high tide which is about to hit in about five hours. the effects of this storm, again, a lingering, long duration of rain and wind, plus the high tide cycles. that's a combination for disaster. fredricka? >> thank you so much, sandra endo. hang on to that hat, the wind kicking up in ocean city, maryland. this storm so serious that the presidential candidates are
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we wi'll get back to our continued coverage on hurricane sandy in a moment, but on the campaign trail, mitt romney will now be campaigning in the all-important state of ohio. president obama will be staying close to washington as he continues to monitor the developments of this storm. let's talk about ohio and why it is a particularly close race there. we asked likely voters who their choice was for president. barack obama has a 50% to 46% margin over mitt romney in this latest poll, which is why mitt romney and paul ryan are stu stumping there today after modifying their plans. they were going to be in virginia, but because of the storm now they're in ohio. as you see here, the two rally supporters just a short time ago in salina, ohio. they have both spent several days in the buckeye state and have more on their calendar. let's talk a little more about the direction of that state and the voting electrorate has your
own new polling out this morning showing a dead heat there. obama and romney both pulling 49% of support out of likely voters. this is in line with that tightening national race according to a number of major polls. so why is, or is it your view, that ohio is kind of the microcosm of the country? >> ohio is, indeed, fredricka. it always is. it's tied this time, but if you were to compare, let's say, texas or utah with new york and put them all in one state, you would have ohio. >> so the president has traveled to that state at least 24 times, mitt romney somewhere more than 40 times this year alone. both of them clearly know it's a very important state. but at this juncture, as the two still will descend on ohio with just a few days before election
day, if everything goes according to plan, what do ohioans need to hear from them? >> i think they need assurance from the president that things will get better. things are bad, everyone knows that, but that they'll improve, that the worst is over, if he can convey that effectively. governor romney needs to continue to persuade voters that obama has had his four years, it's time for new leadership. they're both making that case and it's really about getting those voters who have made up their minds or who are really close to voting for one or the other out to the polls. >> what about the undecideds? we keep hearing about the undecide undecideds? is there a particular populace there in ohio? >> it's about 1%. >> so the northern part of that state is one that would traditionally vote more republican. it seems as though according to some of your polling and some of the articles that that is the portion of the state that is
leaning toward romney. but that's also the portion of the state that's heavy on manufacturing of ships and cars, especially since obama has been getting a lot of credit for helping to save the u.s. auto industry. that doesn't seem to make sense. >> right. well, actually, the northern part, especially the northeastern part is traditionally democratic. the northwestern part has been democratic, but if you move away from toledo, it gets to be a little less. so it's consistently, really, especially northeast ohio, cleveland area, akron area, that's traditionally democratic. it's a matter of whether president obama can keep up with those margins that he had in 2008 there. >> 800,000 ohioans have already voted. early voting is really kind of maybe changing the landscape of this election season. is there any way of knowing to whose advantage this will be, romney or obama? >> yeah, there are two ways to tell. one is our poll. it seemed about one in five voters had said they voted early and they were definitely going for obama in the early polling. as well, you can look at where the returns are coming in.
you can't tell who voted for whom, but you can look for since our democratic stronghold is seeing more ballots return than republican strongholds, and it would seem that's the case. the romney people are saying, so what, these are people coming out to the polls on election day, anyway. they're voting early. that's not the same as lining up other people who still need to be slightly persuaded a little bit more and get them to come out. so they say none of that matters. >> can i talk to you about weather real quick? you're there in washington. you'll definitely be impacted by the weather with hurricane sandy. for our fellow ohioans, when we hear chad meyers talk about the potential feet of snow because of the cold front that will be hovering over ohio, is there big concerns that's going to impact election day? >> i think it's too soon to know by election day. it's certainly going to impact the next few days. they expect it to be rather cool, in the 40s, high in the 40s by wednesday. i'm sure that will affect early voting, at least.
>> steven kopf, thank you very much. >> thank you. washington d.c. when it comes to hurricane sandy. schools there will be shut down ahead of the storm. we'll find out what else in the area might be impacted by hurricane sandy. imimagaginine e ifif y yod alalwawaysys s seeee l e inin t thehe b besest t lil. eveverery y titimeme o of f. ououtdtdoooorsrs, , oro. trtranansisititiononss® ls auautotomamatiticacalllly y fift ththe e ririghght t amamouountn. soso y youou s seeee e eveg ththe e waway y itit is memeanant t toto b be e ses. mamaybybe e evevenen a lilittttlele b betette. exexpeperirienencece l lifife e, asask k fofor r trtrananss adadapaptitiveve l lene.
if you have travel plans for the mid-atlantic or northeast, you need to think again. chad meyers will explain that sandy is going to make a mess of anyone's commute. short or long. >> short or long. the airlines are saying we'll waive those fees. we know you can't get there, the planes won't be there so plan accordingly. you can go to your local airport on line and find that out because we're getting it one minute after minute of airports being added. la guardia a little slow today but that's nothing where we're going to be. these airports will come to a grinding halt. things are still moving. it hasn't stopped just yet, but when you see this, and you see wind gusts that are going to be
60, 65, 80 miles an hour, there will not be one airline that wants to fly a plane in that kind of weather. they don't even want the planes on the ground waiting through the weather to clear. there might be nothing on that tarmac. there will be no planes at all on some of those gates with some of these airlines. keep in mind it will be difficult travel for airline travel, and driving travel may be very difficult through -- this is virginia, west virginia all the way down to tennessee. four feet of snow likely in some of these passes. then you talk about some of the planes, trains and other things going up here, most of the metro in new york city, the transit will start shutting down at 7:00. you need to get to where you want to go now. it's that simple. >> it really is. thanks so much. chad meyers, appreciate that. he'll be joining us again momentarily. let's go to one of those mid-atlantic states, maryland. annapolis, specifically. that's where we find our a thth
jones. we know that early voting has been suspended. people were excited to be voting on a saturday. not today. what else is taking place? >> that's right, it's been canceled for tomorrow. we're here in annapolis, one of those places particularly prone to flooding because it's so low. it just started raining here a few minutes ago and the wind is picking up, but this is one of many communities up and down the eastern seaboard that is preparing for hurricane sandy. >> annapolis resident kim kimball is hoping the sandbags she's collecting here will protect the museum where she works from rising waters. >> that's the one most vulnerable, because it's closest to the water. when it comes up, it will flood the basement. it's just one of the problems with living in the city in front of water. >> reporter: she's been through this drill several times. her friend jack is a novice. >> this is my first time doing the sandbags, so i'm sort of
playing out, how does it go. >> reporter: in washington, authorities are lahanding out sandbags and store shelves are being emptied. last summer it knocked out trees and power lines to some residents for more than a week. resident ann hargrove isn't taking any chances. there were no batteries to be had. i got four jugs of water from walmart, but i got paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, fla flashlights. >> they said the surge of customers began thursday. they cleared out of many basic supplies. >> annapolis has had some bad storms the last couple years, particularly two where they lost power for an extended amount of
time. >> reporter: they warn that the damage could be significant. >> i think everyone needs to recognize that a hurricane style event is going to be a multi-day event. >> reporter: so you heard in the end talking about power. that's one of the concerns right by the docks. one of the ice cream businesses said if they lose power, that ice cream is only going to last a short time. they could lose everything. and a coffee shop here told us that in the past, they've been able to bring coffee from another location to here if the flooding is not too bad so they can continue to get coffee and caffeine to the folks around here. fred? >> okay. lots of businesses and those historic landmarks, protection being put into place. quickly, how about where people live there in that low-lying annapolis area? >> well, really, as you saw in the beginning, sandbags are what people are coming to get. they were handing out sandbags until this morning, so people have stocked up. that coffee shop i mentioned had a whole pile of them. they were going to start putting
them out later on as the rain really picks up. we did speak to some residents. it goes uphill pretty quickly around here, so if you're higher up, you'll be better off, of course, but the other folks will be hoping the sandbags will do the trick. fred? >> all right. thanks so much, athena jones in annapolis, maryland. we will continue our coverage of hurricane sandy right after this.
welcome back to our continuing coverage of hurricane sandy. i'm fredricka whitfield. tens of thousands of people on the east coast from north carolina to maine is on alert as a huge storm threatens to cause major destruction. they are pounding the carolinas right now. the storm is about 250 miles east of cape hatteras, north carolina carrying about 70-mile-an-hour wind. it's moving north and expected to turn toward the east coast tomorrow. we'll be right back.